Today is Veterans Day. Today we honor the men and women who have served their country as soldiers. I am thankful for those who have chosen to stand for what they believed in, even in the face of war and death. I mourn for them and their families, though.
“Don’t talk to me about atrocities in war; all war is an atrocity” – Lord Kitchener
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein
“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” – Jose Narosky
War is not a beautiful, glorious thing. The bravery and selflessness of people is beautiful and praiseworthy, but not war itself. Take the time to go to Google Images and look at pictures from US wars. The horrors of war captured in each image can never be unseen. I can’t imagine how it impacts someone who was there, who experienced those terrible moments. No-one should ever be put in that position. To come home and try to fit back into everyday life after seeing hell on earth… how do you it? Veterans have sacrificed so much and must not be forgotten by the rest of us. I’m ashamed that the US has done such a lousy job of supporting the soldiers it so readily sends off to war. Veterans deserve every bit of support we can give them – mental, physical, spiritual, financial… anything they need. After what they’ve been through, it’s the least we can do to help them find peace and healing.
May we all find peace and healing – all of us the whole world over.
This thought has stuck in my mind: each soldier was once someone’s baby. Each soldier has or had a mother who (hopefully) gazed at her little child in wonder as her heart burst with love. Each soldier was once a smiling, cooing baby who wanted nothing more than to be fed and loved. As the mother/stepmother of two boys, my heart breaks just thinking about sending one of them off to war. After my baby was born, I held him closely and wondered how anyone could be pro-war. I looked at his sweet face and imagined him as a soldier, weapon in hand, marching off to face death; the image moved me to tears. Sure, the oldest boy was Link for Halloween, complete with a sword, shield, and bow. He thinks fighting and killing are a game. I’ve tried my best to communicate otherwise to him, but he’s simply not ready to grasp the gravity of those topics. Sadly, I think there a lot of people who do not grasp the gravity of violence and death, despite being much older than three (almost four) years old.
Little “hero” who has no understanding of what heroism is or entails.
How does a mother ever let go of her sweet baby to send him off to war?
Whether or not war is necessary is a topic I have no desire to discuss at length. It seems to me that it is a necessary evil at times (WWII comes to mind), but those times are few and far between. I don’t understand why the US government has chosen to continuously send soldiers across seas to fight and die. Do they realize they are sending someone’s baby to fight and kill someone else’s baby? This is not Sparta, where women send their men to war with cries of “Come back with your shield or on it.” I’d like to think society has evolved past that point, particularly a society that claims to be Christian. Kill or be killed is an evolutionary status quo, one that we should be able to transcend by now.
Aren’t we tired of seeing images like this?
The courage of those who receive awards like the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, etc. is truly amazing. These men and women deserve to be honored and their valiant acts remembered. But wouldn’t it be amazing if their great deeds were unnecessary because there was no war? Aren’t we ready to be done with fighting and killing? Isn’t peace and love what Christ and so many other spiritual teachers and leaders have called for?
Isaiah 2:4 – “And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Can we all join together to pray for peace and work toward a society where we no longer “learn war?”